The Year 3 Adult Cohort in Dumfries yesterday participated in a Death Café in class as part of the Holistic Practice Module.
A Death Café is a forum for a group directed discussion of death, dying and life in an informal setting usually over tea and cake. The aim is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people to make the most of their lives. This has been extended to apply this to facilitating learning for student nurses. The Adult students were joined by their peers from the Mental Health student cohort who joined the conversations.
The session was focused on a menu giving a choice of starter, main and dessert choices of topics for discussion in relation to death and dying aiming to provide an informal forum to discuss this often sensitive topic in a safe environment with peers.
Examples of the topics were: how is death and dying portrayed in the media? How can health care professionals promote openness in discussing death and dying? How can we as health care professionals approach these topics with patients and families? How would you like to be remembered?
The students brought in a wonderful array of culinary delights to accompany the discussion, which was enjoyed alongside tea and coffee flowing freely along with the buzz of the chat. Lecturers participated in the cake and coffee as well as dipping in and out of the discussions at each table and facilitating conversation if needed.
The session was well evaluated overall by the students who seemed to have enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, a different way of discussing a difficult topic and of course there was CAKE!